Kenya: Court Nullifies CUE's PhD Rule, Says Lecturers Not Consulted

11 December 2019

Regulations by the Commission for University Education (CUE), for all lecturers to have a doctorate degree by the end of the year in order to continue teaching in universities, have been nullified.

Labour court Judge Stephen Radido on Wednesday declared the regulations null and void, in a ruling on a case that lecturers at Machakos University filed early this year.

Justice Radido ruled that lecturers, as primary stakeholders, were not consulted when the regulations were being developed.

He dismissed arguments by the CUE and the university that vice chancellors and principals represented academic staff during the process of developing the guidelines, noting that VCs epitomise the employer and that their interests do not represent those of employees.


The lecturers petitioned the Employment and Labour Relations Court seeking a declaration that the harmonised criteria and guidelines for appointment and promotion of academic staff in Universities in Kenya were invalid, null and void.

They cited breach of the Constitution and the Employment Act, 2007.

The case arose after Machakos University, on February 6, 2019, issued a memo to assistant lecturers and tutorial fellows, informing them that pursuant to the CUE Guidelines, they were expected to have attained PhD degrees by October 2019.

The CUE said those who would not have attained the required academic qualification by then would be considered as relieved of their duties.

"A permanent injunction be issued against the respondents whether by themselves, their servants or agents, in acting on their behalf, from implementing the policy," ruled Justice Radido.

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